A Trip To Playa Santa Maria, Cuba by Mattea Perrotta

Only minutes from the Old City, a chevy taxi drive through a tunnel along the sea reminded me of driving along PCH, except instead of massive beachfront mansions, there were modest Cuban pastel homes that decorated the roadside. The Azul sea is more like bath water, and you can’t help but sing Kevin Ayers Caribbean Moon while you float and look up towards the sky. Locals from surrounding towns come to this beach, laying large spreads of fresh fruit and grilled fish. Young kids play football on the sand. An older man with one leg offers to sell us a rum filled coconut. The beach is lively, raw, echoes of Cuban percussions come from the distance. The weather was erratic that day, the sun was hot , water was warm, and an hour later the clouds created a canopy of grey with the wind blowing so intensely that we had to seek coverage under a giant red umbrella while three men held it down. The water boats blew sideways on the sand and we watched the tropical storm blow through the beach goers. It didn’t phase them. They laid like starfish on the sand and waited it out until they could continue their beach party. photographs by Mattea Perrotta and Kate Parfet. Text by Mattea Perrotta